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HLA-DPB1 supertype-associated protection from childhood leukaemia: relationship to leukaemia karyotype and implications for prevention

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christine Harrison FRCPath FMedSci


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Most childhood B cell precursor (BCP) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) cases carry the reciprocal translocation t(12;21)(p13;q22) ( approximately 25%), or a high hyperdiploid (HeH) karyotype (30%). The t(12;21) translocation leads to the expression of a novel fusion gene, TEL-AML1 (ETV6-RUNX1), and HeH often involves tri- and tetrasomy for chromosome 21. The presence of TEL-AML1+ and HeH cells in utero prior to the development of leukaemia suggests that these lesions play a critical role in ALL initiation. Based on our previous analysis of HLA-DP in childhood ALL, and evidence from in vitro studies that TEL-AML1 can activate HLA-DP-restricted T cell responses, we hypothesised that the development of TEL-AML1+ ALL might be influenced by the child's DPB1 genotype. To test this, we analysed the frequency of six HLA-DPB1 supertypes in a population-based series of childhood leukaemias (n = 776) classified by their karyotype (TEL-AML1+, HeH and others), in comparison with newborn controls (n = 864). One DPB1 supertype (GKD) conferred significant protection against TEL-AML1+ ALL (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.42, 0.22-0.81; p < 0.005) and HeH ALL (OR; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.30-0.65; p < 0.0001). These negative associations were almost entirely due to a single allele, DPB1*0101. Our results suggest that DPB1*0101 may afford protection from the development of TEL-AML1+ and HeH BCP ALL, possibly as the result of a DP-restricted immune response to BCP ALL-associated antigen(s), the identification of which could have important implications for the design of prophylactic vaccines.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Taylor M, Harrison CJ, Eden T, Birch J, Greaves M, Lightfoot T, Hussain A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy

Year: 2008

Volume: 57

Issue: 1

Pages: 53-61

ISSN (print): 0340-7004

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0851

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00262-007-0349-5

Notes: UKCCS Investigators Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Germany Cii


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